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Dance Us to the End of Love


Dear Leonard Cohen,

You died the day before Hillary lost. Did you decide to leave before the shock? Before we became so angry? So sad? So afraid?

Probably not. I doubt you had much use for this country’s politics. You were on a higher plane.

After reading your obituary Friday, I sat down at my piano and played Suzanne and Hallelujah over and over like I played Imagine the day John Lennon died. No one was around so I sang.

Last Wednesday, before we knew of your death and my tears flowed while Hillary spoke, I did what I often do for a soul connection: I turned to Leonard Cohen. I listened to you sing You Want It Darker on YouTube and then to So Long, Marianne.

As one of 6000 fans at your Radio City Hall concert, I thought you were singing just to me. I was gone before you opened with Dance Me to the End of Love, gone with your skipping onto the stage. After welcoming us with your humor and spirit, you said you didn’t know when we will meet again, but you’ll give us all you got.

You did. That night. Always.

My mother and your sister share the name Esther Cohen. Your son and I share a birthday. I share a sentiment about you my first best friend, Inez, whom I’ve known since we were six, shared with me on Friday:

We will feel his precious absence on this planet but also feel his precious presents deep inside.

So deep and so dear. You “stand before the lord of song” and of course, at the head of the class. Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen! Hallelujah!

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